Testimonials for Middle Schools

Neal teachers are enthusiastic and creative

My daughter has benefited greatly from attending Neal Middle School these past three years. She has had teachers who are enthusiastic and creative, teachers who care about her welfare as well as her education. She has learned to think more critically with their practical application approach to teaching every subject.

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What's good at Lakewood Montessori Middle School

[NOTE: This article was originally posted on the blog of the Durham Association of Educators. Click HERE to read it and view the photographs.]

“You don’t teach history, you teach a child.”

I can’t tell you much about most of my classes at the School of Education where I got my certification, but some teacher I had somewhere shared this little truism, and it’s stuck with me ever since. Sometimes, it seems, the catchy little slogans work. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t seem to be holding up too well in the era of the over-testing, STEM, and discipline-specific-instruction that has dramatically reshaped our schools. At its core, however, the advice my teacher gave me lives at the heart of every teacher I’ve ever known. Yes, we love the subjects that we teach (most of the time), but we really got into this business because we love watching young people grow and figure out just how smart and talented they are. We want to hear more about their lives. We want to give them solid and specific advice. We want to know that they can read, write, and think for themselves. We want to teach the child.

At Lakewood Montessori Middle School, they teach the child, and they’re proud about it. And they should be.

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What's good at Lucas Middle School

[NOTE: This article was originally published on the blog of the Durham Association of Educators. Click HERE to read it and view the photographs.]

Before I get into the specifics of the 30th public school that I’ve visited in Durham this year, I just want to go on record and say that our schools are so awesome. Each one of them is filled with loving, committed, and creative staff who go to the mat for their kids and each other. Each one bustles with young people working hard to learn more about themselves and the world. And each one has its own unique flavor and character. I’m enjoying every minute of this tour, and I consider it a great honor to get to write about these precious places of learning, loving, and growing.

I’m especially excited to share about Lucas Middle School because this place had me smiling from the moment I walked in the door to the moment my car pulled away.

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What's good at Carrington

[NOTE: This article was originally published on the blog of the Durham Association of Educators. Click HERE to read it and view the photographs.]

October feels like an appropriate month to talk about spirits. The ghosts of Halloween will soon descend upon us, giving physical form to the intangible supernatural that many believe we live in the midst of every day. Whether or not I believe in those specters is another post for another blog, but I will say here unequivocally that I believe in school spirit.

And so does the staff at Carrington Middle School.

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What's good at Shepard Middle School

[NOTE: This article was originally published on the blog of the Durham Association of Educators. Click HERE to read it and view the photographs.]

It can be kind of hard to walk around the world these days as someone who knows a thing or two about education. For those of us that have chosen (or been chosen by) the profession/art of teaching, it can get tiresome to listen to the politicians and business people talk about what “our schools need to do.” Our students are used like cheap tricks to win votes, and the people who love and nurture them daily have our craft disrespected by those who have never tried it. Again and again, I find myself consoling expert practitioners who just want to be, at the very least, spoken about with dignity. No one challenges the American Medical Association’s right to set the standard for their profession, but when it comes to decisions about our schools, teachers and our unions are somehow expendable.

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